Our mission

ASSITEJ - International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People

ASSITEJ unites theatres, organizations and individuals throughout the world who make theatre for children and young people. ASSITEJ is dedicated to the artistic, cultural and educational rights of children and young people across the globe and advocates on behalf of all children regardless of nationality, cultural identity, ability, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion. ASSITEJ brings people together so that they can share knowledge and practice within the field of theatre in order to deepen understandings, develop practice, create new opportunities and strengthen the global sector. 


ASSITEJ Norway has currently 117 members, both individuals, companies and institutions. ASSITEJ Norway is supported by the Ministry of Culture, and has a small administration based at Sentralen in Oslo. Our overall goal is to raise awareness and boost quality in the professional performing arts for a young audience. Having an independent and inclusive role, ASSITEJ Norway facilitates professional and international exchange and capacity building.

The SAND festival

At the World Congress in Cape Town in 2017, ASSITEJ Norway and our SAND festival in Kristiansand were chosen as hosts for the ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering in 2019. 

The SAND festival is an international performing arts festival aiming to present Norwegian and international performances of extraordinairy quality. It was established in 1994 and counts its 15th edition in 2019. Our ambition for the festival is to be a national force and an international door-opener for all professionals.
We seek to:

  • be artistically challenging, presenting cutting-edge innovative and contemporary performing arts
  • explore different ways of facing young audiences
  • facilitate international encounters and exchange
  • bring together practitioners and researchers with common interest in the young audience

Towards the unknown - Confronting the Present

"Towards the unknown" is the theme ASSITEJ has chosen for the global gatherings 2018-2020. Each ASSITEJ gathering includes Artistic Encounters - several days of sharing, reflection and invention. These encounters gather hundreds of international professionals from all fields related to the performing arts, childhood and research. Join us in taking the three first steps towards the unkown:

  • "Imagining the Future" Beijing 18-24 August 2018
  • "Confronting the Present" Kristiansand 2-7 September 2019
  • "Beginning the Journey" Tokyo 14-24 May 2020

As a pioneer, you have the ability to create and affect the future. Considering acting and directing, text and contexts, new and old media, inclusivity, theatre for the very young, child participation etc., in a rapidly changing world, in - let´s say - 30 years, what will theatre for young audiences look like?

We invite you - actors and directors, writers and dramaturgs, theatre pedagogues, producers, researchers and scenographers, dancers and video artists - to invent, examine and walk around the world with your ideas, inspirations and experiences towards the unknown.

Collaborators and contributors

The SAND festival succeeds thanks to long-term collaborations between ASSITEJ Norway and:

The AAG2019 is supported by:

AAG2019 should be open and inclusive to all. The picture is from SAND 2018, where we set a new wheel-chair record for one performance.
The professional program is an important part of the AAG2019. Here´s member of the Artistic Council, Tony Reekie, in a talk with New International Encounter`s Iva Moberg.
§31: Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities. (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child)